Sunday, March 13, 2005

Asbury Park Press: Boss Stays Local to Rehearse For Upcoming Tour

Springsteen greets fans in Asbury Park

Published in the Asbury Park Press 03/11/05

ASBURY PARK — It was a well-kept secret, but not a perfectly kept one.

The only clue yesterday afternoon was a road-salt-encrusted Range Rover parked at the Asbury Park Convention Center. That, and the muffled sounds of guitar and vocals coming from the Paramount Theater.

Bruce Springsteen was in the house rehearsing for his upcoming tour in support of his new album, "Devils and Dust," to be released on April 26. At least one other member of the E Street Band, guitarist Nils Lofgren, was said to be rehearsing with him, although the forthcoming album is said not to include the band.

Manny DeCastro, 21, and his friend Sam Constantino, 20, both of Lacey, were waiting outside the Paramount to get a listen and maybe a look at their musical hero.

"I'm a mail carrier, and people on my route were telling me that Bruce was going to be here today," DeCastro said. "I had the day off and thought I'd come."

Constantino admitted that some would find it strange that they would stand for hours in near-freezing temperatures for a brief encounter with The Boss. "It's stupid," he said, "but it is something to do."

Four hours after their vigil began, their patience was rewarded.

Springsteen walked out a little before 6 p.m.

By that time, they had been joined by just a couple of other curious and in-the-know Springsteen fans.

"Hey Bruce," said one of them, "can you sign some autographs?"

"Let's see what you got," Springsteen said with a familiar growl.

As he signed autographs, DeCastro said, "We've been waiting 3 1/2 hours."

Springsteen paused, and shook his head.

"You kids need to get a life," he said, with a smile.

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